On Wednesday, Jan. 24, the Baseball Writers Association of America voted on the 2018 Hall of Fame ballot.
The results of those votes will send four former MLB players to Cooperstown.
Chipper Jones and Jim Thome both made it during their first year on the ballot. Vladimir Guerrero made it on his second try and Trevor Hoffman succeeded during his third year of eligibility.
Jones played his entire career in an Atlanta Braves’ jersey. The third baseman hit .303 over his 19-year career tallying 2,726 hits, 468 home runs and 1,623 runs batted in. In 1999, Jones was awarded the league’s most coveted award – MVP. However, his career wasn’t built solely on individual achievements, as it was capped with a World Series title in 1995.
Thome played most of his career for the Cleveland Indians, but in his later years, bounced around between the Phillies, White Sox, Twins, Dodgers and Orioles. Thome played first base and designated hitter during his career and ranks eighth all-time on the home run list with 612.
Guerrero played for the Expos and the Angels for much of his career. The outfielder ranks in the top 10 all-time in right field assists. He also hit .318 for his career with 449 home runs and 1,496 runs batted in. He won one MVP in his career. Guerrero came up just short in his first year of eligibility, receiving 71 percent of the votes – he was a shoe-in this year.
Hoffman, considered by many to be one of the top two closers in MLB history, played for the Padres for most of his career. When Hoffman retired after the 2010 season, he had the most saves in MLB history, with 601. Since that time, that record has been broken, but Hoffman still ranks second all-time. After missing out last year by one percent, Hoffman was elected in his third year of eligibility.
While the four players elected to the Hall of Fame in 2018 were all very deserving, there were two major snubs – Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
Clemens, who is one of the most accomplished pitchers in MLB history, only received 57.3 percent of the vote this year, his sixth year on the ballot. In his 24-year career, Clemens racked up 354 wins with a 3.12 ERA. Clemens also won an MVP award and seven Cy Young awards during his career, while adding two World Series titles.
Bonds received 56.4 percent of the votes this year. Although his percentage has steadily increased over his six years of eligibility, Bonds is still not close. Bonds hit a career .298 with an MLB-record 762 homeruns. He also drove in 1,996 runs and stole over 500 bases during his 22-year career. Bonds won seven MVP awards and eight Gold Glove awards during his career.
Bonds and Clemens can blame their snubbing on their links to steroids. Both players were caught using steroids during the later parts of their careers and are now suffering the consequences.
However, Bonds and Clemens should both be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Both players are arguably the best at their position in the history of the game. Both have shown that even without using steroids for a majority of their careers, they played at Hall-of-Fame levels. Bonds and Clemens are two of the most accomplished players in MLB history and it is a shame they are being punished while alleged steroid users like Ivan Rodriguez and Mike Piazza have made their way to Cooperstown.